EDITH K. ACKERMANN

edith (at) media.mit.edu

Edith
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Projects


MERL (Completed)

A Mitsubishi Electric Research  Laboratory, Cambridge.For motivated basic research and advanced  development in computer and communication technologies:  http://www.merl.com/

Projects

 




Experience Journals: A Web-based Tool for Sharing Stories

Team: MERL: Dennis Bromley, Carol Strohecker, Joe Marks, Edith Ackermann, Sarah Gibson, Chia Shen, and Marina Umaschi. Department of Psychiatry, Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School: Joseph Gonzalez-Heydrich, David Ray DeMaso, Julie Dahlmeier Erickson, Kevin M. Brooks, Beth Donegan, Sarah Lualdi, and Judith Karlin. Sponsors: The Noonan Fund is supporting clinical trials of the software and study of trial results.

Visit website: http://www.merl.com/projects/xpjournal/

Researchers at MERL and Boston's Children's Hospital join forces to produce an application that records, organizes, and displays stories. Stories are written by people who share problems or interests, such as coping with the illness of a loved one. Characteristics of these communities and their recorded experiences have led us to experiment with an initial algorithm toward the vision of a self-organizing, self-evolving, web-based system. With support from the Noonan Fund, psychologists at Children's Hospital are conducting studies to ascertain the software's usability and its usefulness in helping people cope with illness.

My role: Usability, interaction design.
 




PatternMagix: Exploring Emergent Effects of Geometric Symmetries

Team: MERL researchers Edith Ackermann and Carol Strohecker, in cooperation with Kazuo Kyuma and Shinji Komori of MELCO, Adrienne Slaughter, and Aseem Agarwala of MIT

Visit websites: http://www.merl.com/projects/pmagix/      

View storyboard
http://www.open-video.org/details.php?videoid=4988&surrogate=storyboard

PatternMagix is one of a series of prototype environments in which learners experiment with part-whole relationships by composing objects and observing effects that emerge when the objects combine in a larger context. Such experimentation can support development of scientific understandings in the domain of multivariate systems. In PatternMagix, learners play in a world of colorful tiles and geometric operations, from which they create mosaic-like patterns. Interactions take the form of a dialog as learners use different modes of the dynamic interface. Play areas change size to reflect the dialogic turn-taking as constructions proceed.

My role: Project leader, with Carole Srohecker.

Motivation and objective: Like Dewey, Piaget, and Papert, we believe that learners construct their own knowledge, rather than absorbing what others present to them. We observe that learning happens particularly well when the learner is making something personally meaningful, which others can appreciate. Our aim is to provide tools for creation and appreciation in exploratory learning.

 




AnimMagix: Learning about Emergent Effects of Behavioral Attributes

Collaboration:  MERL researchers Edith Ackermann and Carol Strohecker, in cooperation with Kazuo Kyuma and Shinji Komori of MELCO, and Adrienne Slaughter, Aseem Agarwala, and Daniel Gilman.

 Visit website: http://www.merl.com/projects/amagix/

AnimMagix is one of a series of prototype environments in which learners experiment with part-whole relationships by composing objects and observing effects that emerge when the objects combine in a larger context. Such experimentation can support development of scientific understandings in the domain of multivariate systems.

In AnimMagix, learners play in a world of whimsical creatures and social behaviors, from which they create groups of dynamic, mutually responsive beings. Interactions take the form of a dialog as learners use different modes of the dynamic interface. Play areas change size to reflect the dialogic turn-taking as constructions proceed.
    
Users construct creatures by adjusting three behavioral attributes: perceptivity, sociability, and motility. Interactions among these attributes affect the creatures' movements as they "dance" together.

My role: Project leader, with Carol Strohecker.

Motivation and objective: Like Dewey, Piaget, and Papert, we believe that learners construct their own knowledge, rather than absorbing what others present to them. We observe that learning happens particularly well when the learner is making something personally meaningful, which others can appreciate. Our aim is to provide tools for creation and appreciation in exploratory learning.